740.00112 European War 1939/3856: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Leahy) to the Secretary of State

1430. Your 839, November 10, 10 p.m. In the course of his conversation with Matthews yesterday (Embassy’s 1428, November 11, 3 p.m.) Darlan referred to Murphy’s activity in North Africa and to the “unfortunate effect” which it had upon the Germans. He went on to say that while he had “nothing against Murphy, the Germans are both jealous and suspicious of him” and in order to avoid exciting them, he hoped that “Murphy could be a little less active.”

In reply Matthews pointed out the benefits accruing to North Africa and France under the present plan of economic assistance and told Darlan that Murphy’s activities and presence in North Africa seemed both desirable and necessary if economic assistance was to be continued. Darlan dismissed rather lightly the aid which we have thus far given, and said that he hoped to be able to arrange a shipment of gasoline and petroleum products to North Africa from Rumania in the not too distant future.

In view of Darlan’s attitude and with the situation in mind outlined in my telegram 1417, November 7, 8 p.m., I do not believe that it is desirable for Murphy to leave Africa at the present time. Should he return to Washington it is within the realm of possibility that on one pretext or another the French authorities could find reasons for delaying his return to North Africa.

Repeated to Algiers.